If you have called the Portland store in the past four or five years you have probably talked to me at some point. If you have come into the store with obscure questions about plumbing for old homes you have definitely talked to me. And if you have perused our Tales from Rejuvenation company videos, you have even seen me.
I’m what I like to call a Plumbing Enthusiast: a lover of vintage plumbing fixtures and catalogs. But I wasn’t always that way. Five years ago, I was scared to even touch the stuff, calling my dad to help me out with a leaky faucet or a clogged drain. Once I started at Rejuvenation, I found out I wasn’t alone in my fears and trepidations.
And that just wouldn’t do.
I had to learn as much as I could about vintage plumbing and I wanted to make it less scary and more accessible for folks going through remodels and renovations.
Over the past few years, if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that nothing is standard in an old house. Heck, things are rarely standard in a new home, but all the ups and downs can be worth it, especially if you have fallen head over heels in love with your space.
I love helping people take their houses and turn them into spaces that reflect their personality and passion. It’s a joy to watch and it’s exciting every time.
TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE
My kitchen stove is over 50 years older than I am.
I am writing a full length action-adventure novel.
I had to build a special storage area in my house to hold my extensive DVD collection.
Proud parents and longtime customers John and Angie Davis stopped by the Portland store on a recent Monday to introduce baby Fey to the team here.
Foley meets little Fey.
At the time of the visit, Fey was only five days old, which I think makes her the youngest person to browse our showroom… though she was sleeping most of the time.
Congrats to Angie and John on their beautiful addition and good luck with all their future projects!
The first shade I ever fell in love with was a Holophane.
It was a real beautiful asymmetrical number, probably originally for an industrial application, meant to direct light at an angle when mounted from a wall bracket. The thing looked like a glass Hessian helmet. I bought it, took it home and put it on an old bridge lamp. It has been a real conversation starter for sure.
Holophane is one of the one of the oldest manufactures of lighting in the world. Founded in London in 1898, they used the joys of science and mathematics to direct and amplify what little light carbon filament bulbs put out. These beauties were crafted out of borosilicate glass, a tough, hardworking medium used in everything from cookware to telescopes optics.
This type of glass allowed Holophane to produce shades with precise prisms, helping reflect and refract light, casting light evenly in all directions, without creating dark spots or glare.
Around the Depression, Holophane had to make a choice as a company: stick with their industrial line, which supplied shades to factories and warehouses, or commit more fully to their burgeoning residential line. They chose to stay with their industrial roots and it paid off. Every time you walk into a Costco or indoor stadium, or onto a manufacturing floor, you are more than likely stepping under the light of a Holophane.
Their brief foray into residential shades produced some gorgeous results: clear glass shades that are delicate and striking, whose function enhances their form. One of my favorite parts of Holophane shades is the way bulbs look in them. Keep in mind these are often CLEAR glass shades. Clear glass shades with stiletto prisms. When you look at them from the side you can’t even see the shape of the light bulb… only a ribbon of light.
It’s just pretty.
They even look great from below. The prisms give the inside of the shade an almost silvered effect. Even your standard clear light bulb looks sharp in these shades.
About a year or so ago, my coworker Anne Moloney and I had an idea. We wanted to create videos to help our customers better understand our products and our brand. So we spent some free time on a hot summer afternoon in the salvage lot filming a proof of concept. After a little editing we had our first informative video about the basics of claw foot tubs. Other folks here got excited and approved our project, giving birth to http://www.rejuvenation.com/advice_ideas/tales.html Tales from Rejuvenation.
We have twelve videos under our belts. Twelve months of product spotlights, installation tips and helpful pointers. Some videos were more challenging than others to film, but ultimately they taught us more about film making in general and video editing specific.
FYI… Moloney and I are nerds.
We are nerds for old hardware, antique lights and popular culture. Total behind-the-scenes movie nuts, in fact. This work project has been an adventure, allowing us to expand our knowledge of old house stuff along with our movie-making skills. So, this year we wanted to stretch out and be more ambitious.
Unlike our previous videos, this one’s more narrative. Sort of a short silent film. A few friends donated their time and their adorable 40′s home in return for bagels and me cleaning their kitchen. (Not a bad trade if you ask me!)
The result is something Moloney and I are both very proud of. We hope you guys like it, too.
Just to give you folks a fun behind-the scenes-look, here are the storyboards for our first video of 2011.